The Federal Government has hinted that the joint account being operated by the state government for local government will soon be fought constitutionally to liberate local government system.
Mr Boss Mustapha, the Secretary to the Government of Federation, disclosed this on Tuesday in Abuja while addressing participants at the Nigerian Local Government summit for 2019.
The summit with a theme “Emerging Issues in Local Government Administration in Nigeria” organised by the Department of state and local government affairs in collaboration with SEGNIP Promotion Limited and office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.
The SGF as represented by Mr David Attah, Director special Duties OSGF disclosed that joint account is no longer effective in our present day political system and it need to be thrown away.
Mr Attah revealed that the major area of discontent between the state and the local government administration in Nigeria is the joint account system which has been highly abused by the state governors, and this has called for agitation for fiscal autonomy.
He noted that the joint account system has been a source of a tool at the disposal of the state government to manipulate and starve the local government of necessary fund to run its administration and bring development closer to the grassroots.
The Director disclosed, it is mysterious that most of us in Nigeria today has fail to see the connection between declining LGs system and varying crimes like kidnapping, youth restiveness, and Boko Haram insurgency, for instance. Is convenient to say that no ‘baby factory’ or other related crime would find space where local government councillors are fully involved in governance and work with landlords associations and town unions to identify who is doing what.
Noting that “In the midst of all these, there is no state not even one that showed an example by devising a system that made the LGs work or gave a proper account of the LG funds.
Mr Attah revealed all of us, either directly, or indirectly, has become vulnerable to the impact of local government administration daily. Therefore, mismanagement and maladministration at this level of governance will continue to affect us negatively as people with direct implication for exposing a substantial number of the population to abject poverty.
He informed the gathering that with the introduction of the Nigeria Financial Intelligent Unit (NFIU) Act and the new LG administration account reporting system, the current administration of President Buhari has taken steps to upgrade the anti-graft or money laundering regulations to reduce vulnerabilities created by cash withdrawals from LG funds throughout the country.
The MD/CEO SEGNIP Promotion Project Consultant, Engr. Kayode Adebayo, said there is gainsaying that of the three levels of governance in Nigeria, the LGs represent a significant tier in the country’s desire for socio-economic transformation and the match to the next level.